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Phillylacrosse honors the 2022 Girls’ Co-Players of the Year: Capozzoli (Episcopal Academy), Galica (Conestoga), Monaco (Lenape), Mottice (Archbishop Carroll), & Shoup (Penn Charter)

Monday, 22nd August 2022

Categories, Girl's/Women's, High School  

By Chris Goldberg, Posted 8/22/22 congratulates Alexa Capozzoli (Episcopal Academy), Kate Galica (Conestoga), Gianna Monaco (Lenape), Kiley Mottice (Archbishop Carroll), and Maddie Shoup (Penn Charter) as its 2022 Girls’ Co-Players of the Year.

Each of these players played major roles in helping their teams win league, district, sectional or state championships. Capozzoli’s EA squad won the Inter-Ac League crown, Galica’s Pioneers swept the Central league, District 1 3A and PIAA titles, Monaco’s Indians won the South Jersey Group 4 championship, Mottice’s Patriots swept the Catholic League and PIAA 2A titles and went undefeated, and Shoup’s Quakers captured the PA State Independent Schools (PAISAA) crown.

Honorable Mention Players of the Year: 2022 midfield Darcy Felter (Penn Charter), 2022 midfield Anna Kaplan (Twin Valley), 2023 midfield Gabbi Koury (Owen J. Roberts), 2022 goalie Lucy Pearson (Springside Chestnut Hill Academy), and 2022 midfield Marissa White (Agnes Irwin)

Below we highlight the Co-Players of the Year:

Alexa Capozzoli, Episcopal Academy, 2022 Attack (playing at St. Joseph’s)

Alexa Capozzoli was confident that Episcopal Academy – a perennial Inter-Ac League power – would be a major contender in 2022 despite a 9-8 season in 2021 that left the team behind the top tier.

“Coming into the season the co-captains, Bella (Piselli) and myself met with the coaches and we realized how young we were, but how much talent we had. We talked about utilizing all the different aspects. We had so much depth it was awesome to see how younger players and upperclassmen stepped in to fill key roles.

Alexa Capozzoli

Because of COVID last season was different. This season we focused on culture – we did a lot of team bonding over spring break and that really helped us when it came to the harder games to play. Our culture, teamwork and cohesiveness on and off the field helped us in those situations.”

Indeed, Episcopal Academy shined in the big games in 2022. EA finished 19-2 overall and a lusty 11-1 in the Inter-Ac, sweeping powers Penn Charter and Agnes Irwin to roll to the league championship.

Capozzoli had 56 goals and 32 assists and was named a USA Lacrosse All-American and All-Academic selection. Her greatest value, according to coach Josie Tomaino, was her leadership.

“Alexa has been an outstanding leader both on and off the field for Episcopal,” Tomaino said. “She always focused on bringing the program together and working towards our team’s goals. Even though we had a very balanced team all over the field, Lex’s vision, game IQ, creativity and crafty stickwork really helped propel our offense, especially in tight games.”

Capozzoli said she took her role seriously as a co-captain. She felt the team’s camaraderie pulled them through in the tight games.

“Those games were amazing,” she said, “One of my biggest roles was making sure everyone felt comfortable and confident. If someone was struggling, I would pull them aside and make sure their head was on straight mentally first before physically coming onto the field.

“I tried to get everybody involved. The team worked so well offensively in so many aspects. We had no standouts and a lot of teams had a few breakout players, but everyone contributed and we gelled so well.”

Concluded Tomaino: “Alexa has an outstanding ability to read the defense and attack gaps. She caught many defenders off guard with her quick step and deceptive approach. She has a great understanding of when it’s time to push the tempo and when the team needs to settle.

“She uses her game sense and strong communication skills to help the players around her get on the same page and attack TOGETHER. This is why we were successful as a team this season – we did everything together and utilized all of the players in our program in a variety of ways. Leaders like Alexa helped to make that happen!”

Kate Galica, Conestoga, 2023 Midfield (committed to Virginia)

Kate Galica says her Conestoga Pioneers had plenty of motivation entering the 2022 season after losing a heartbreaking PIAA semifinal the year before to eventual champion Radnor.

“Losing last year had definitely motivated and pushed us through every game,” she said. “We used that feeling we had after losing to Radnor last year to fuel us for this season.”

Kate Galica (Photo courtesy of Pete Bannan, Media News Group/Daily Local News)

That fuel never ran out. Conestoga went 24-1, won three championships and capped it with a decisive 15-7 triumph over Manheim Township in the PIAA 3A final.

“I am so proud of the team and how all of us played throughout the season,” said Galica. “We had a mindset of taking it one game at a time. Finish our 3 phases – Central League, district, and then states. We never looked ahead until each phase was complete. It is the best feeling to have accomplished each phase with the best team.”

Galica had 91 goals, 29 assists, and earned All-Central League . She added 29 assists to amass 120 points on the campaign.

Conestoga coach Amy Orcutt said Galica’s all-around athletic skills made her so valuable as a scorer, table-setter and defender.

“Kate is kind of like the player who can do it all,” she said. “She makes things happen, she wants the ball on her stick on offense and she led the team in caused turnovers as well because she’s so fast and is able to sprint down anybody in the midfield.

“She’s a head-up player and a gamer. She’s the type of kid you want on your team; there’s not many like her. She has the skills, the work ethic and the coachability and the drive. I remember the Agnes Irwin game (11-6 win) – they faceguarded Kate and and she just looked to set everybody else up.”

Concluded Galica: “Although scoring is very fun, I think the most enjoyable part is celebrating with my team. When someone makes a really good play whether that’s defensively or on the attacking end, celebrating the little things is what brought our team closer together.

“We just had so many people step up this year which helped us move all the way to the top.”

Kiley Mottice, Archbishop Carroll, 2022 Attack (playing at North Carolina)

Kiley Mottice knew Archbishop Carroll would face every team’s best in 2022. She relished the challenge.

“It was an amazing year,” she said after the state final win over Twin Valley. “We were all together to win for the team and the coaches. And to put the icing on the cake, being undefeated …

“I love these girls so much. I think that from the beginning of the year, after winning states last year, we had a target on our backs. We had so much confidence and it showed by having everyone showing up to practice every day and working hard. That helped give us the confidence to stay undefeated.”

Mottice had 62 goals and 35 assists for the 24-0 Patriots, playing in many spots on the field. The attack mostly went through her for a shot, a dodge or a pass.

Kiley Mottice

“Kiley’s contributions as a player and leader are so numerous,” said Carroll coach Lorraine Beers. “She has tremendous stick skills that include being able to score using her non-dominant hand as well if not better than her dominant hand. If Kiley was in on a ground ball she would be the one to snatch it because her wrist strength is so great.

“Her lacrosse IQ allowed her to set up teammates and herself to be in an optimal place to score. Kiley is selfless and always had the goal to win the state title. She took draw controls when needed and became the best screen when she was face guarded. Her leadership was through action and her teammates have so much respect for her.”

Mottice was a quiet leader, but one whose example was contagious.

“She was always at the front of our Manchesters (speed and endurance runs) at practice and you knew she never took a day off,” Beers said. “If we did not have lax that day she was pumping in hundreds of shots in her back yard or at a field somewhere. She helped the freshmen and everyone else.

“In all our games we wanted the ball to go through Kiley. She has a quiet, almost comforting but intense style on the field that helped her teammates focus on the play at hand.”

Gianna Monaco, Lenape-N.J., 2022 Attack (Florida)

Lenape coach Jill McCarthy gushed when she spoke about Gianna Monaco’s contributions to Lenape’s successful 2022 season.

“What she meant to this program is hard to put into words,” said McCarthy. “She did so much more than the stat sheet shows. She is a player who has the rare ability to make her teammates better just by being out there.”

Monaco collected 130 goals (second in New Jersey), 18 assists and 132 draw controls. She led Lenape to a 17-2 campaign with the highlight a 14-13 win over rival Cherokee in the South Jersey Group 4 title game. Monaco was a USA Lacrosse All-American and was named’s Player of the Year.

“She always demanded greatness from herself and others, and those girls wanted to be better for her,” said McCarthy. “Gi sits atop the Lenape record books in career goals and draw controls; amassing these stats in only 3 seasons. Her drive, dedication, and competitive nature make her a force to be reckoned with. She will truly be irreplaceable on and off the field for us, but I know great things lie ahead of her at Florida.”

Gianna Monaco

Monaco was very consistent. She scored at least four goals in every game this season, even while drawing much defensive attention. She was especially strong in the playoffs, scoring 23 goals in Lenape’s four game run to the sectional title and had six goals in the title win over Cherokee.

In the 2021 season, Monaco had a disappointing finish as her team fell to Rancocas Valley in the sectional semifinals and she hobbled off the field with a torn labrum in her hip that marred the end of the campaign.

She played her last few weeks of the 2021 season but could barely walk. Then she needed 6 months to rehabilitate from hip surgery.

“We just wanted to play for each other and our coaches,” said Monaco. “There was a lot of great team chemistry; everyone was so close. It was like one big family.

“I was able to get back on the field for preseason. Being the oldest and the captain I felt I had to show them the way. It felt so good to come back from last year.”

Maddie Shoup, Penn Charter, 2022 Midfield (playing at Colorado)

Maddie Shoup said the prep work for the 2022 season began immediately after her Penn Charter squad fell to Agnes Irwin in the 2021 Inter-Ac championship game.

“After that loss all of our rising seniors made sure we had good team chemistry,” she said. “We all had roles. If someone was scoring a lot, others would do whatever was needed to help us win. We had lost eight starting seniors from last year, but the younger players stepped up and everything fell into place.”

Shoup collected 68 goals, 36 assists, 35 groundballs, 32 draw controls and 19 caused turnovers. She was named All-Inter-Ac First Team, and a USA Lacrosse All-American.

Maddie Shoup

The Quakers went 19-4-1 and defeated Springside Chestnut Hill Academy, 8-7, in the PAISAA title game. In that game Penn Charter was a man down for much of the second half, but kept possession in the final minutes and forced a late yellow card on SCH before salting the clock.

“It was an exciting game,” said Shoup. “We came out so confidently and yellow cards killed us. But we realized we were a talented team and we had played down for a long time before (in a win over Bishop Shanahan) and once we settled down we pulled it together and played well under pressure.”

Penn Charter coach Colleen Magarity said Shoup, known for her speed and quickness, was dominant the second half of the season.

“Maddie was just on fire, especially in the last 10 games,” said Magarity. “She and Darcy (Felter) and Charlotte (Hodgson) were part of an amazing middie line. They complemented each other so well.

“Maddie is the true definition of a multi-sport athlete. She was First-Team All-Inter-Ac in lacrosse, soccer and basketball. The way she sees the field in lacrosse is like a point guard. She’ll see the opportunity to take a shot and she can pass. She is shifty and deceptive and slippery and hard to cover.

“She also has the killer instinct. If we needed the ball back, she could get it on a ride or a draw control.”

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